WE ARE NOT THE WORLD
THE WHOLE PLANET IS NOT CONNECTED
THE TOTAL POPULATION OF THE INTERNET EQUALS LESS THAN 24% OF THE HUMAN RACE
Altogether, Only 1.5 Billion Are Wired To The World Wide Web
So, who are these digital losers? More importantly, who are the winners? It's pretty much what you'd guess. The West, the North, the rich, industrialized, advanced technological nations. Americans, Asians and Anzacs are all on the 'Net bigtime. The poor, under-developed, backward Southern countries are not so much on the informational grid, as you might expect.
Does this matter? Aren't the elites always the first to get all the goodies? That's true, but in this case we are not talking about some kewl tchatchkies and marginally useful gizmo's. The computer is the basic tool, the Internet the advanced infrastructure of a whole new economy, a new geopolitical system, an entirely new world. Those who are let off it might as well be left off the Earth.
North America has 74.4 % penetration of computers & com lines, with 132.5% annual growth, in 2008. That's 251,290,489 surfers in the U.S. (plus Canada and Mexico). But we invented the stuff, right? We were first with phones and computers and all. The Europeans might argue with that. They have 48.9% of their population on the Web already, with annual growth of 274.3% in 2008; 393,373,398 surfers. Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific have 60.4% penetration, 172.7% growth, for a total of 20,783,419 online.
Asia is leading the rest of the world. The wired nations of the Orient combined only have Internet penetration of 17.4%, but it is growing by an annual rate of 474.9%, as of 2008. That's 657,170,816 netizens, almost as many as North America, Europe and Oceania combined.
Africa is growing at a phenomenal rate. Right now, they only have 5.6 % on the web, but that's expanding annually by 1,100.0%: 54,171,500 so far. The Middle East is growing even faster. 23.3% are hooked up, but that's growing by 1,296.2% per annum as of 2008. The total so far is 45,861,346. Latin America and the Caribbean 29.9%, 860.9%, good growth with a very respectable 173,619,140 online so far.
But the real story is that 5,113,758,962 people on this Earth are not in on our global discussions. Five Billion are not on the 'Net, not plugged in to the new global economy and polity. War, peace, poverty, prosperity, disease, healthcare, all the major issues are being discussed and decided without input from 76.2% of the people concerned. If we believe in democracy at all, we cannot allow this to stand.
You may say that this is all just too obvious: The rich run things as they see fit, primarily for their own benefit. The poor are expected to suffer in silence. Hell, even in the so-called advanced democracies, the middle class doesn't have a voice in the big decisions. They're all wired up, they can rant and rave on all they want, but it makes no difference. So, we should know how the unwired in the rest of the world feel.
Those folks may feel that they have no way of communicating other than by violence. Yes, they can write letters and snail-mail them in. They can hold meetings and attend conferences, lodge official protests and stage peaceful demonstrations. But if no one is listening, why should they bother? If peaceful means have no effect, then violence begins to look like a better means of communication. Perhaps the only means, for the deluded few.
This is what we are seeing in the U.S. today. With the best communications in the world, no one is listening to the Left or the Right. Politicians can schpiel off tub-thumpers and stem-winders every election season, then do nothing once in office except make reassuring noises while they serve the interests of the tiny minority whose opinions actually matter. Those are the only people who are really wired in this world. The rest of us might as well be living in a cave. We are not the World, not even in "our" world.
If we, the majority in our well-connected world, do not use the Internet as a tool to enfranchise ourselves and take control of our own economies and governments, the 'Net will be used by the elites to end all hope of political and economic democracy. If we do not organize and become actively involved in our own countries, and unite with those who are being ruthlessly cut off and exploited by our own elites, the world's disenfranchised will rise up against us materially and spiritually, and there will never be peace.
We can use the Internet as a tool to make this "New World Order" our own, or we can suffer in silence as it is used against us all. Right now, we still have a choice. Action is required: Connect, unite, organize, take control of your political and economics systems from the ground up, right in your own home town. You have the tools: You're looking at them right now. Use them for your own benefit and for the benefit of the other 5 billion human beings who have only violence as a tool today.
INTERNET WORLD STATS.COM
"World Internet Users and Population Stats"
Mmmmmm! Fresh data!
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